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5 Reasons We Love Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is very unique compared to other theme parks. The rides, the animals, and the beautiful scenery and decor equally take center stage. With all new experiences added in Pandora – World of Avatar and awesome nighttime experiences, there are so many reasons to love Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

1. Attention to Detail

The Walt Disney World Resort is known for its extensive amount of detail throughout each theme park and resort area, however Animal Kingdom really does take the cake for having some of the most exquisite and realistic details. Every section of this park is so detailed, creating a truly immersive experience for guests. Even while waiting in line for an attraction like Expedition Everest, never do guests truly feel like they are in an ordinary theme park queue. Instead, they are in the Yeti Museum, where it looks as though they’ve just stumbled in while the owners were out with books left out in the office and a room of artifacts displayed in cases. We could spend hours just checking out the details in Pandora – The World of Avatar. Between the 22 floating mountains and over 250 varieties of living plants that are integrated with Pandoran plants… the details is just stunning. To some extent, the other parks feel like a theme park, but Disney’s Animal Kingdom succeeds in being totally immersive, transporting us to a different time and place.

2. The Animals!

Unfortunately, a few too many guests visiting this park overlook the animals in favor of hitting up more rides instead, but the animals are what make Disney’s Animal Kingdom truly special. In addition to the great variety of exotic animals guests can see in the park, the setting the animals may be seen in makes all the difference too. After visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom and seeing the animals roam in such large, open, seemingly very close to natural spaces, going to my local zoo just isn’t the same anymore. Having the animals available for viewing in spaces that closely resemble their natural habitats not only helps the animals to enjoy their stay in the park more, but it also adds to the show and makes guests enjoy seeing them more.

3. Family-Friendly Attractions

Compared to other theme parks, the Walt Disney World Resort is often viewed as geared more towards kids, at least from an outsider’s perspective. A true thrill junkie visiting Orlando may choose to visit Universal Studios, or at the very least Disney’s Hollywood Studios instead of say, the Magic Kingdom. Animal Kingdom however strikes a perfect balance between thrill rides, childrens’ activities, and adults-only fun.

Rides like Avatar Flight of Passage, Expedition Everest, and Dinosaur are perfect for thrill seekers and older families alike, however little ones will be pleased to meet Minnie and Mickey, ride Triceratop Spin, look at the lights in Na’vi River Journey, and explore The Boneyard. Right in the middle are hit attractions like Kilimanjaro Safaris and Kali River Rapids, as well as all of the shows. A few years ago many would have considered Animal Kingdom to be more of a half day park, but now with so many things to do for each member of the family it isn’t difficult to spend the whole day (if not more)!

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4. Dining Options

Epcot may be the first park to come to mind when you think about dining in Walt Disney World, but Animal Kingdom has some pretty great options too! For quick service dining, Flame Tree Barbecue has always been a fan favorite as well as the Harambe Market. We have also been very pleased with Satu’li Canteen – the birthplace of Mobile Food and Beverage Ordering. Table service dining is wonderful in this park too, with Asian inspired options at Yak and Yeti, and the latest signature restaurant in the park, Tiffins on Discovery Island.

5. Evening Atmosphere

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has been offering a slew of new evening entertainment. From the sunset safari over at Kilimanjaro Safari, to the dance parties in Dinoland USA and Discovery Island, or simply just being able to ride Expedition Everest once the sun goes down, the park’s evening offerings have been a real hit among guests. With the Tree of Life awakenings setting the tone for guests walking through Discovery Island, it is clear that evenings in Animal Kingdom are memorable in a very unique way. Plus, let’s not forget Rivers of Light which is a beautiful nighttime show on the water with colorful floats and wonderful music. Finally, head back to Pandora – The World of Avatar to explore the area at night as bioluminescent lighting makes this land glow!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a graduate of St. Anselm College, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in History. She completed two Disney College Programs, one at Dinoland U.S.A., in Animal Kingdom, and one at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios. She is the author of “Brittany Earns Her Ears,” a memoir about her experiences on the college program, and she currently resides in Massachusetts.